Skipton’s sacked town crier Kevin Griffiths has denied he has ever been drunk on duty.

His comments come after several national papers, following up last week’s Craven Herald story, claimed that he had been given his marching orders by the town council because he had been drinking while in uniform.

However, an official statement from the town council only referred to complaints about “activities being undertaken by Mr Griffiths while acting as town crier”.

Mr Griffiths said he absolutely refuted the allegations that he was drunk on duty.

“It is a fabrication of lies,” he said this week. “I do go to the pub after I have finished my stint, but then, after two or three hours of shouting, you need a drink.”

He accepted that he was still in his livery, but said everyone knew who he was so it made no difference whether he was wearing his regalia or not.

He has been pictured in the past with a pint of beer in his hand.

And Mr Griffiths pointed out that former mayors of Skipton had been seen, in their robes, with a drink in their hand.

“If councillors have condemned me for drinking, they are a bunch of hypocrites,” he said.

Mr Griffiths said he was still considering his next move and had thought about “packing it in”.

“But lots of townsfolk have said they want me to stay and not to give in,” he said. “I didn’t go into crying to upset people - just the opposite, in fact. I like to make friends with people and hate trouble.”